Winter Bikepacking Destinations

Feeling the winter blues? In this mini guide, Neil shares the most popular winter bikepacking destinations around the world, catering to those living in the Northern Hemisphere who are currently in the grip of winter’s chill. Find region and route suggestions from the sun-soaked landscapes of Florida to the majestic culture and riding in Thailand and more here…

Those of us living in the Northern Hemisphere are currently in the thick of winter. While this might not make bikepacking is impossible, it’s certainly less desirable and more logistically challenging, often requiring specific winter-rated gear that can be both expensive and bulky. If you’re looking for a winter escape to sleep under the stars somewhere warm in the next few months, this guide is for you.

While jumping on a plane to ride in a different continent is enticing, this guide aims to highlight worldwide bikepacking destinations that are conveniently located, hopefully allowing everyone to experience somewhere warmer without extensive travel. This is also what makes our worldwide route network so special. Watch my video below and then scroll down for additional information on each region, including specific routes that are accessible during the winter months.

North America

For our readers in the United States, there are a number of classic winter riding destinations spread across the south, including some lesser-traveled but still incredibly beautiful areas worth considering. For East Coasters, Florida is the obvious option, and the further south you go, the warmer and more humid it gets. While slightly harder to reach, Big Bend in Southern Texas is another great winter bikepacking destination. It has limited rainfall, sits at around 60 to 70°F from January to March, and has all the fixings for a great experience, including magical dirt roads, singletrack, and interesting flora and fauna. Just a few hours north in New Mexico, it can get chilly, but the riding is fantastic for most of the winter.

Southern Arizona, specifically around Phoenix and Tucson, is easy to access and brimming with winter bikepacking potential. There are a staggering number of dirt roads and trails that weave between seas of saguaro cacti, jagged rock formations, and beautiful vistas, providing endless opportunities to curate your own route. Southern California has some potential, but many of the routes on our website head into the mountains and are better suited to the spring and fall. That doesn’t mean that stringing together the lower-elevation portions wouldn’t make a lovely winter escape. Generally, the coastal areas near San Francisco are rideable in the winter months, but rain might be an issue. Catalina Island, just southwest of Los Angeles, is another gem that makes for a great weekend getaway.

  • Sky Islands Odyssey, West Loop
  • Queens Ransom Route, Arizona
Tumbleweed Prospector

Central/South America

South of the US border is the best place to look for a winter escape. The subtropical, equatorial, and desert climates in Mexico, Central America, and parts of South America offer riding opportunities from November through March. An easy place to look is Baja, Mexico, where the Baja Divide season kicks off in December and offers riding opportunities stretching some 1,700 miles from north to south. It’s also possible to split the journey into more manageable segments, including the scenic Cape Loop, for those looking for something shorter. Heading further south, Oaxaca boasts warmth and a network of routes centered around the colorful city of the same name. These routes cater to various durations, from overnighters to week-long tours. November to February, especially January, provides ideal temperatures for exploration.

Also in Mexico, you can take on the Trans-Mexico route, a challenging 2,175-mile journey from Mazatlan to the Mexico/Guatemalan border. Central America offers tropical escapes, with Costa Rica’s routes promising excellent riding conditions from December to March, including the enticing Nicoya Peninsula Traverse. Colombia’s diverse landscapes are best explored during its dry season from January to March. Discover the Andean Bear Corridor route network, promoting responsible cycling and connecting Bogotá to surrounding ecosystems.

  • Baja Divide
  • Oh Boyaca Bikepacking Route, Colombia
  • Rigs of the San Jose del Pacifico Grand Dirt Tour

Here are a few of our favorites from the route network:

Southern Europe

Across the Atlantic Ocean, Spain and Portugal offer some of the warmest temperatures and closest destinations for those living in Europe. While it might not be Mexico-hot, Spain’s coastal regions, particularly in the southern part of the country, see milder winters, and there are an abundance of routes and shorter sections of routes that can be ridden in the winter months. The Altravesur route, which crosses southern Spain from Cadiz in the west to Valencia on the Mediterranean coast, should be high on your list if you’re looking for a stunning winter escape. Be warned, the it can be cold and the rainiest months are between December through March, although that is relative (look it up!).

Altravesur Route Report, Matteo Minelli


Across the Strait of Gibraltar in Africa, you’ll find Morocco. While the Atlas Mountains may require some weather watching in the winter, they remain passable, and with consistently pleasant daytime temperatures down south, Morocco is an excellent spot for a winter escape. The infamous Atlas Mountain Race kicks off mid-February each year, and rider’s are often challenged by snow in the mountains and heat down low. March is also the perfect time to tackle the Route of Caravans, a 700-mile journey from south to north that takes you through the Sahara and eventually to the mountains.

January to February and early March is a great time to visit East Africa. Between Logan and Virginia’s time scouting and Tristan Ridley’s Kenya Bike Odyssey route, there are several options to choose from that will provide ample opportunities to immerse yourself in eastern African landscapes, wildlife, and culture.

  • Route of Caravans, Morocco Traverse South
  • Making of the Kenya Bike Odyssey video

Here are several routes in Africa to consider:


Thailand in South East Asia offers ideal conditions from November to February. Once the monsoon season has ended, the trails are dry and the temperatures are cooler. The 244-mile (393-kilometer) Lanna Kingdom route in particular is absolutely stunning with amazing food, incredible vistas, and plenty of dreamy roads. Stay tuned for more from this region, as we have a few things in development.

Lanna Kingdom Bikepacking Route, Thailand


While the impetus for this guide was to spark ideas to travel a shorter distance within the Northern Hemisphere, it’s unfair not to mention the exceptional bikepacking destinations in the Southern Hemisphere. While the Oceania region, including Australia, is very warm from December to March, some areas, such as the mountains of New Zealand, offer some stunning routes and pleasant conditions. The 300-mile (482-kilometer) Tasmanian Trail is another possible option, traversing the entire island from coast to coast through a diverse and intriguing range of landscapes.

  • munda biddi trail, bikepacking australia
  • Hunt 1000 Australian Alps Trail bikepacking route
  • munda biddi trail, bikepacking australia
  • New England High Country 1000, NEHC1000, NSW Australia
  • Tasmanian Trail, Bikepacking Route, Tasmania, Australia

Here are a few of our favorites from the route network:

Let us know what destinations look the most appealing to you or if we’ve left anywhere off that deserves a mention!

Further Reading

Make sure to dig into these related articles for more info...



Bikepacking Guides


Please keep the conversation civil, constructive, and inclusive, or your comment will be removed.

Share This

Thanks in advance for spreading the word!